BLACKSTAR ARTISAN 30H - 30W HANDWIRED VALVE HEAD AMP
Stock code: BSARTISAN30H
Auckland North Island South Island Warehouse
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- Class A 30W head
- Switch for 10W single-ended / 30W push-pull
- 4 x EL84 output valves
- EF86 channel with 5-way Bass Shape switch
- ECC83 channel with 2-way Voice switch and Master Volume
- Hi and Lo inputs perfect for channel blending
- Impedance selector
The Artisan 30H is inspired by some of the most revered amplifiers in guitar amplifier history. The design is in the classic 30W format and is very simple to use and yet highly flexible in functionality and tone. The Artisan Series of handwired amplifiers represents the absolute highest standard of craftsmanship and boutique tone. With the emphasis on simplicity and sonic purity, every feature has been refined to provide the artist with the widest range of reference vintage tones. This is achieved by the design of electronic circuits that work in harmony with the finest components and materials available. The Artisan 30H is built to last a lifetime and effortlessly combines vintage style and rugged, road tested reliability. The point-to-point tag board construction, welded steel chassis and finger-jointed birch-ply cabinet are complemented by beautiful vintage red Tolex and etched aluminium panels.
Power Amplifier - The Artisan 30H power amplifier uses four EL84 power pentode valves in Class A bias. The EL84s used are graded in terms of quiescent operating point and transconductance giving excellent hum performance and dynamic feel. The Artisan 30H power amplifier operates in two modes, namely push-pull (30W) or single ended (10W), depending on the setting of the Power Amplifier Mode control. This control is designed to maintain the optimum operating point in both single ended and push-pull modes to ensure perfect performance. In push-pull mode the power amplifier takes on characteristics similar to that of a Class A early ’60s British amplifier. The single ended mode allows the generation of the critical power amplifier harmonic distortion at a much lower volume. The lower power setting is particularly effective for home and studio use. The power amplifier is further enhanced by using a cathode coupled phase splitter to provide the best possible balance in the power amplifier drive and hence superb dynamic response. In keeping with the vintage sonic signature of the Artisan 30H, the use of a valve rectifier adds compression to the power amplifier response and is critical in generating its feel and responsiveness. The GZ34 valve rectifier used in the Artisan 30H is also found in other classic designs. With an amplifier that is built to last reliability of the electronic circuitry is essential and therefore all the other power amplifier and power supply components are also overspecified for the best possible reliability.
Channel 1 – The EF86 Channel Hi/Lo inputs provide perfect matching either directly to the guitar (high sensitivity) or for connection to higher output effects pedals (low sensitivity). This channel is based on the EF86 preamplifier pentode valve. Originally, this valve was most commonly used in high-end audio applications due to its high gain, low noise characteristics. However, in very early American guitar amplifier designs a pentode was used in the preamplifier circuit. The use of a pentode in these early designs provided unique gain and compression characteristics which make these amplifiers so revered for studio use today. In keeping with the reference American designs, the extra gain of the EF86 of the Artisan 30H allows the power amplifier to be driven harder for more compression and rich harmonic distortion. The EF86 also adds its own particular compression and distortion flavour to this channel making Channel 1 a dream to record with. The 5-position Bass Shape switch controls the bass drive into the power amplifier and enables the user to quickly and easily select from a wide palette of tonal options from bright and glassy through to fat and smooth. The tone control circuit is unusual in its position across the anode of the EF86. This retro type of design offers a complex response that works in harmony with the dynamics of the player’s attack. The extra gain of the EF86 allows the power amplifier to be driven harder for more compression and rich harmonic distortion. The EF86 also adds its own particular compression and distortion flavour to this channel.
Channel 2 – The ECC83 Channel
Hi/Lo inputs provide perfect matching either directly to the guitar (high sensitivity) or
for connection to higher output effects pedals (low sensitivity).
This channel’s tone is most easily described as a blend between a boutique EL84
combo and classic British 100W head. The philosophy is to deliver the bell-like ring
and richness of a warm, retro combo with the added openness and roar of a vintage
high wattage head.
The flexibility of this channel is further enhanced by the addition of the 2-position
Voice switch which completely reconfigures the tone shaping network to give either
a ‘Warm’ or ‘Bright’ response.